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Social Issues: Letters

From: Ross Olson ross{at}
Sent: Monday, April 7, 2014
To: Editor Star Tribune (opinion@{at}
Subject: Personhood

Journalist Robin Marty’s prediction is probably true, but not for the reason he cites (“’Personhood’
Platform will Lose Here, Too” 4/7/2014). That a zygote is a human person from the moment of
fertilization is NOT an unscientific definition, in fact it is solidly scientific. If at the zygote stage, Robin
Marty had been terminated, he would not be writing his opinions now.

This is true despite the fact that many zygotes fail to implant and die – often due to the deteriorating
human genome on both the fetal and maternal side. It also is not disproved by the fact that ectopic
pregnancy does indeed represent one of the only situations where the mother’s life is endangered and
is saved by killing the fetus. But in this case, a great majority of these tragic situations are related to
previous infection with Chlamydia, due to multiple sex partners causing the spread of this sexually
transmitted disease. Personhood is not disproved by, and in fact opens a deep discussion of the practice
of discarding zygotes during in vitro fertilization.

But the real reason the personhood approach to the issue will not be accepted is, as he later states,
people want sex without the possibility that they may become responsible for a baby.

Ross S. Olson MD
Minneapolis MN 55417

Send comments to me at ross{at}

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